Virtually no one expects the 2013-2014 Orlando Magic to compete for an Eastern Conference playoff berth.
With that in mind, Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn is taking some unusual steps in order to experiment with his roster, and the most high-profile of them revolves around the virtual elimination of morning shootarounds. For those unfamiliar with NBA customs, the majority of teams use a morning “shootaround” in place of a practice on game day to run through different items that will be used during the game, but Vaughn’s reported plan (courtesy of Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel) involves using this same pattern in the afternoon, instead.
Robbins brings us some interesting quotes from Vaughn on the situation:
“Have I made a conscious effort to not have some shootarounds? Yes, and will that continue throughout the course of the year? Probably yes. I took a scope of all the things that we did last year — what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I thought was efficient. And that’s what I’m about. I’m about being efficient.”
“I don’t have to stroke my own ego and check boxes off [a practice plan]. I just don’t. I don’t have to do what other coaches do. I’m fine with doing what I think is best for my team.”
Frankly, I absolutely love this from Vaughn. Why should we accept the “standard” for standard’s sake? In Orlando’s case, they have virtually nothing to lose as far as win-loss record this season, and Vaughn’s experiment could very well send shock waves around the league with regard to game preparation.
In addition, Vaughn is working with a very young roster that doesn’t include a single high-profile “star”, so the backlash would be minimal if any players didn’t buy in to his concept. We certainly don’t know if this will be beneficial in the long run, but I applaud the coach for his initiative, and I can see people rooting for the move to succeed.